Crucial Dudes 61 Penn

Crucial Dudes make the kind of anthemic punk that'll always sound good on a stereo, but that truly belongs in the basements or venues where you're free to jump on and off stage (makeshift or not) and shout along with a room full of people, fists in the air, loving life. Taking some pages from standard hardcore-laced pop punk flag bearers Lifetime and Saves the Day (they even have a song called "Through Being Crucial," most certainly a nod to STD's classic Through Being Cool), the New Jersey quintet don't relent on their debut, with ten bangers in under 20 minutes. It's all furious backbeats, thick guitars, gruff vocals and, of course, a heap of hooks. Crucial Dudes don't venture too much into additional song structures, which usually works to varying degrees of breakdown cliché overload in this pop-core vein. Instead, they tuck a slower jam/gang vocal bridge into a 55-second interstitial, knowing early, and well, how to keep things nice and simple. (Jump Start)